How to ensure you are not conned by the fraudsters
Q: How do I avoid being scammed?
A: Never give out personal information until you have checked the caller is genuinely from the organisation they claim to be from. Tell the caller you will phone back once you have checked their identity by looking up the organisation's phone number and calling the number yourself directly.
Q: Anything else I should do?
A: Make sure you hear a dial tone before you dial. Do not use a number the caller has given to you as this could be a fake number. Don't assume you can trust 'Caller ID'. Fraudsters can spoof a number so it looks like they are calling from a particular company or bank, even when they are not. Remember it takes two people to terminate a landline call. Use a different phone line to independently check the caller's identity or make sure you hear a dial tone before you call anyone.
Q: If I've been scammed, can I get my money back?
A: Contact your bank immediately. The bank may be able to stop a money transfer to a fraudster if it gets to it on time. If not, subsequent payments to the fraudsters could be stopped. If the con artists have details of your debit or credit card, you may have to cancel your card. Report the fraud to your local Garda station too. Banks are unlikely to return your money if you have given out your PIN or other security details. "Report the fraud immediately to your bank, and to gardaí. Time is of the essence with these things," said Niamh Davenport, of the banks' FraudSmart initiative.
Q: How did the chancer who rang have information about me?
A: Fraudsters may have basic information about you, such as your name and address. Do not assume the caller is genuine because they have this information. They source publicly available information from social media, phone books and websites.
Q: Any other tips?
A: Never give out your security details such as a bank password, code, login details or PIN to anyone. Never use public wifi to make an online payment or access your online banking. Use your 3G/4G connection instead. Don't allow yourself to be rushed.